IT (2017) Review

You know, I am constantly amazed at the amount of really talented young child actors there are right now in Hollywood. And I love that Hollywood is taking advantage of it.

IT is a film based off of the original Stephen King book by the same title. As most people already know, the movie is about an evil entity that mainly disguises itself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and terrorizes the town, and specifically the children of Derry, Maine.

Earlier last week, I rewatched the original 1990 miniseries by the same name (you can read my review of that on this same site). And, honestly, I’m happy that I did rewatch it before seeing this one. Normally, I do not like to compare original vs. remake, but I didn’t really feel as if this was a remake. Plus, this one was actually fun to compare the two and see how the screenplay was condensed, what they took away, what they added. One of the first things I will say is that I am slightly disappointed that this was “Chapter One”, as it stated during the closing titles. I was truly hoping that they would solely focus on the first half of this book, because the stuff with the kids is just so much more interesting and entertaining. I mean, think about: Pennywise is horrifying to a child. And, even as children, they all realize that they aren’t scared of It. So, as adults, what makes them so scared? Like, you “defeated” this thing once. Why not do it again? Plus, if they didn’t make a “Chapter Two”, we could avoid the whole, weird It deciding to take the shape of a spider, or actually be a spider? I don’t even know anymore. Anyway, the only way, in my opinion, that a “Chapter Two” would work, is if you made the final fight scene not so anti-climactic, and if the casting is done as well with the adults as it was with the children.

That brings me to what I want to talk about the absolute most: the acting. Literally every single person in this film was tremendous. I was constantly impressed by the children playing the main characters. They were completely believable, their comedic timing was perfect, and their chemistry all together was off the charts. They each brought such innocence to each character. They brought such innocence to entire situations. It was truly remarkable.

Can we talk about Bill Skarsgard’s performance for a second, though? Now, I’m one who loved Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown. I thought that he did a wonderful job. In fact, his performance is one of the only reasons that the original miniseries is even worth rewatching. But, Bill Skarsgard……holy shit. He was crazy good, I can’t even think of any other way to describe it. He wasn’t necessarily scary (unless you are actually afraid of clowns, in which case, avoid this film at all costs). He was creepy. He was eerie. The voice he used was perfection. It was a completely different interpretation than Curry’s, and, yet, both work. Both work very well. I was immensely impressed.

The writing plays such a big part as to why this film is as good as it is. The screenwriters, Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman, smoothly condense the first half of a book that is over 1,000 pages long. That is no easy feat. I commend them for that.

Like Stranger Things, this film pays homage to several 80s classics, but never by explicitly stating it. No. It’s done with the camera. It’s done with certain shots and certain music. This aspect makes the film fun. It makes you go “this has major ET vibes” (ß actual thing I said to my friend in the theater).

I would pay to see this film again. That’s how good it is. It’s not particularly scary. It’s creepy. It keeps you tense. It makes you laugh. It connects you to these characters because they are so relatable (even if they are facing off with a killer evil entity). You, person reading this, have you seen the film yet? I would love to discuss it with you. What did you like? What didn’t you like? Do you prefer the miniseries or this film? What do you think about the idea of a “Chapter 2”? Come on, let’s talk about it!

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